Image: Steve Elliott / Wikimedia Commons
Image: Steve Elliott / Wikimedia Commons

Tokyo 2020 – Day 7: Team GB joy in BMX and pool, disappointment in rowing

Team GB had a medal run on Friday, with a thrilling BMX gold by Bethany Shriever and a third medal for Duncan Scott among the six won by the nation. It was, however, a disappointing day for British Rowing, who produced one of their worst Olympic results.

The day kicked off well, with a silver medal by Kye Whyte in the men’s BMX event, followed by a gold from Shriever in the women’s event just minutes later. Shriever led from the first bend, holding off a late attempt from defending champion Mariana Pajon of Colombia to securing Britain’s sixth gold. The two medals are Britain’s first ever in the sport, and more success for British Cycling at the Games.

In the pool, Duncan Scott won a silver in the men’s 200m individual medley, his third medal of the Tokyo Games. He pushed hard, rising from fifth in the final 50m to finish second in a personal best time of 1:55.28, but he was unable to pass gold medallist Wang Shun of China. If he wins another medal, he will be the first British athlete in any sport to win four medals at one Olympics.

Luke Greenbank secured 200m backstroke bronze, behind the ROC’s Evgeny Rylov and the USA’s Ryan Murphy in gold and silver respectively, and then Bryony Page took an impressive bronze in the women’s trampolining – an exceptional result after coming back from two ankle operations.

Team GB’s last medal came in a bronze in the men’s eight rowing, with a New Zealand gold and silver by Germany. Britain wraps up the regatta with two rowing medals, their lowest total at a Games since the same number at Atlanta 1986, and the first time since 1980 that they failed to win an Olympic rowing gold. An inquest into British Rowing’s showing is now underway – the sport received £24.6m over the Tokyo Olympic cycle, more than any other sport, but its contribution to the medal table is poorer than any since the 1972 Games.

Ethiopia’s Selemon Barega won the men’s 10,000m, while Britain’s Marc Scott came 14th. In the women’s rugby sevens semi-final, GB beat the USA 21-12, but hopes for a medal in the football were dashed after the team lost 4-3 in extra time. In the men’s K1canoe slalom, Bradley Forbes-Cryans finished sixth, with Jiri Prskavec claiming the gold. The athletics also got underway – Dina Asher-Smith advanced to the 100m semi-finals, as did Jamician duo Shelley-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Elaine Thompson-Herah, who between them have won the past three Olympic 100m titles.

In a shock result in the tennis, world number one Novak Djokovic’s hope for a ‘Golden Slam’ was ended by Alexander Zverev of Germany. Djokovic took a commanding lead in the match, winning the first set, but Zverev stormed back to win 1-6 6-3 6-1. In the final, he will face Russia’s Karen Khachanov, while Djokovic will face Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta for the bronze medal.

Outside of the stadium, Japan is extending a state of emergency in Tokyo after a huge spike in Covid cases fuelled by the Delta variant. Restrictions are being imposed in areas around the capital as well as in the city of Osaka. Daily cases nationwide topped 10,000 for the first time on Thursday, and more than a third of these cases are in Tokyo – today, Olympic organisers reported 27 new infections at the Games, bringing the total since the start of July to 200.

Medal table:

  1. China

Gold (19), Silver (10), Bronze (11), Total (40)

  1. Japan

Gold (17), Silver (4), Bronze (7), Total (28)

  1. USA

Gold (14), Silver (16), Bronze (11), Total (41)

  1. Russian Olympic Committee

Gold (10), Silver (14), Bronze (10), Total (34)

  1. Australia

Gold (9), Silver (2), Bronze (11), Total (22)

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